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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 12, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 07
2016 Grammy Awards:
A preview for 'Music's Biggest Night' with picks and predictions, list of performers
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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2016 Grammy Awards:
A preview for 'Music's Biggest Night' with picks and predictions, list of performers

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

'THE 2016 GRAMMY AWARDS'
CBS-TV
February 15


The Super Bowl of music award shows is being staged this week at LA's Staples Center. Gold-plated gramophones will be handed out in 83 categories, most of them during a Pre-Telecast Ceremony and about a dozen on the main ceremony televised to a global audience of millions.

Among the nominees are hometown favorites Brandi Carlile, Death Cab for Cutie and the Seattle Symphony, as well as the Seattle Symphony's conductor Ludovic Morlot.

A multitude of A-list performers and presenters have already been confirmed for the 3-hour event, but expect to hear a few more artists added to the lineup down the homestretch. Adele, Lady GaGa, Carrie Underwood, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, James Bay, Little Big Town, Tori Kelly, Andra Day and Justin Bieber with Skrillex and Diplo are scheduled to perform. Also appearing on the program is the cast of Hamilton, who will sing the opening number from their Broadway hit musical via live satellite from the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City. A tribute to David Bowie falls on the shoulders of Lady GaGa, under the musical direction of Nile Rodgers, while a salute to the 2016 MusicCares Person of the Year recipient Lionel Richie will feature John Legend, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato and Meghan Trainor.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards can be seen on CBS, February 15 at 8 p.m. Here are my picks and predictions in 10 categories going into 'Music's Biggest Night.'

ALBUM OF THE YEAR nominees: Sound & Color - Alabama Shakes; To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar; Traveller - Chris Stapleton; 1989 - Taylor Swift; Beauty Behind the Madness - The Weeknd

Should/Will win: To Pimp a Butterfly

All of these albums are great, but the most deserving are those by Lamar and Swift. That said, even though Grammy voters have denied hip hop artists awards in the major categories - except for wins by OutKast and Lauryn Hill - I think Lamar has the edge.

RECORD OF THE YEAR nominees: 'Really Love' - D'Angelo and the Vanguard; 'Uptown Funk' - Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars; 'Thinking Out Loud' - Ed Sheeran; 'Blank Space' - Taylor Swift; 'Can't Feel My Face' - The Weeknd

Should win: 'Can't Feel My Face'

The irresistible groove of The Weeknd's smash hit gets my vote, just slightly over Swift, who probably should've submitted 'Bad Blood' instead.

Will win: 'Thinking Out Loud'

Though he's been nominated multiple times, the number of golden gramophones in Sheeran's trophy case is a big, fat zero. Monday night could deliver the ginger musician his very first.

SONG OF THE YEAR nominees: 'Alright,' 'Blank Space,' 'Girl Crush,' 'See You Again,' 'Thinking Out Loud'

Should/Will win: 'Blank Space'

Don't count Sheeran out; though with Lamar probably claiming AOTY the voters will likely give this to Swift and her co-writer team, Max Martin and Shellback.

BEST NEW ARTIST nominees: Courtney Barnett, James Bay, Sam Hunt, Tori Kelly, Meghan Trainor Should win: Bay or Hunt

I love Barnett's spunky style, but singer-songwriters are my weakness, therefore it's Bay or Hunt for me.

Will win: Hunt

MIA from this bunch is Hoozier, who was eligible yet mysteriously not nominated, leaving the door wide open for anyone to take it home. Kelly has a shot, as does Bay, but I'm going with country newbie Hunt to walk away with it.

BEST DANCE RECORDING nominees: 'We're All We Need' - Above & Beyond featuring Zoë Johnston; 'Go' - The Chemical Brothers featuring Q-Tip; 'Never Catch Me' - Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar; 'Runaway (U & I)' - Galantis; 'Where Are Ü Now' - Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

Should win: 'Runaway (U & I)'

One of the best dance records of this decade, hands down.

Will win: 'Where Are Ü Now'

Grammy voters may not love The Biebs, though they have a soft spot for Skrillex. Also factor in that Diplo is nominated for Producer of the Year and the trio is performing during the ceremony, so it's in the bag.

BEST ROCK ALBUM nominees: Chaos and the Calm - James Bay; Kintsugi - Death Cab For Cutie; Mister Asylum - Highly Suspect; Drones - Muse; The Gray Chapter - Slipknot

Should win: Kintsugi

If DCFC is ever going to bring a Grammy back to the Emerald City, this might be it. They've been nominated several times over the past 10 years, but always come up short. Here's hoping they finally get called to the podium.

Will win: Chaos and the Calm

Bay has three Grammy nods, including Best New Artist, so this might be where voters reward him for his major breakthrough and a well-executed album of folk-rock tracks.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM nominees: Sound & Color - Alabama Shakes, Vulnicura - Bjork; The Waterfall - My Morning Jacket, Currents - Tame Impala, Star Wars - Wilco

Should/Will win: Sound & Color

For best alternative music single, if there were a category, I'd easily give it to Tame Impala's 'Let It Happen'. But the finest album in this bunch is Alabama Shakes' unpredictably brilliant sophomore effort.

BEST RAP ALBUM nominees: 2014 Forest Hills Drive - J. Cole; Compton - Dr. Dre; If You're Reading This It's Too Late - Drake; To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar; The Pinkprint - Nicki Minaj

Should/Will win: To Pimp a Butterfly

No one else stands a chance.

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM nominees: Montevallo - Sam Hunt; Pain Killer - Little Big Town; The Blade - Ashley Monroe; Pageant Material - Kacey Musgraves; Traveller - Chris Stapleton

Should/Will win: Traveller

Musgraves put out a wonderful sophomore record and Hunt's full-length debut is quite good, but Traveller is the perfect country album and an easy favorite here.

BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA nominees Birdman - Antonio Sanchez; The Imitation Game - Alexandre Desplat; Interstellar - Hans Zimmer; The Theory Of Everything - Jóhann Jóhannsson; Whiplash - Justin Hurwitz

Should win: All of them deserve to win.

This is the toughest category going into Monday night's awards, featuring five incredible scores. My heart says Interstellar or The Theory of Everything, either of which should've won the Oscar. On the other hand, Birdman and Whiplash were ineligible for the Academy Award, so here's a chance for either to receive some recognition. And then there's The Imitation Game, another gem. I'll be happy with any of them, really.

Will win: Birdman

Interestingly, all of these scores were from 2014 films; none from 2015 made the cut. Sanchez's work on Birdman is the frontrunner here.

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2016 Grammy Awards:
A preview for 'Music's Biggest Night' with picks and predictions, list of performers

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